Kindness

Hello beautiful people and welcome to your weekly dose of Celestial Goodness. As always thank you for joining me in this space and on this journey. You may have noticed that I did not make a blog or video post last week, and this week’s blog and video post are up later than the usual time. In the recent weeks, I have spent some much needed time with some of my most treasured people. See this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/iaDFP5822ds

This quality time did wonders for my soul. There is a certain joy that comes with being in the physical presence of people that we love and care about, talking, laughing, and enjoying each other’s company. I plan to experience many moments like this in the coming weeks and months with various friend groups and family members. The hugs especially, mean so much after not being able to hug for over a year. After everyone left, and my love and I settled back into our regular pandemic life routine, my allergies and sinuses joined the party with a big flare up.

I did not feel great, and spent most days just doing what I could to make it through the day, and then try my best to rest in the evenings. I just needed rest more than anything, and so I rested, and it felt nice. I will never apologize for resting over doing anything else. Rest is healing, necessary, and a valuable part of life’s equation. So if you are ever feeling exhausted, fatigued, or just wiped out, that is a major sign to rest.

Rest up buttercups

I have moments where I just do the absolute most, but my body will always remind me to rest. So I hope that you heed the signs that your body sends to you when you need to rest. Take a nap. Lay down. Sleep without turning the alarm on. I know that because of our societal structure not everyone will be able to easily do this, but if you can carve out some time in your life for rest, I promise you that everything else will feel more manageable.

So, after resting, I sat down to brainstorm about what to talk about this week. I have a running list of possible topics, but during the past week, the word “Kindness,” kept coming up very strongly. The dictionary defines kindness as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. Seneca said, “Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness.”

Is kindness something that we have forgotten during the pandemic? Lately, when we have been out running errands or driving, I have noticed an uptick in road rage or just very aggressive driving by some people. I wondered if this was because I have not done a lot of driving in the pandemic, and maybe things just seem extra fast and weird. But others have noticed it too.

Then I watched a segment by Trevor Noah where he mentioned that it seems like people don’t know how to behave anymore since they have been mostly locked inside for more than a year. He mentioned how people have been fighting flight attendants, throwing things at athletes while they are playing their sport, fighting cashiers at the grocery store and just employees in retail and the service industry in general, and just being so nasty. I had hoped personally that when the pandemic was over that maybe humans would be nicer to each other since a lot of things that we took for granted were not available to us during the pandemic.

I have had conversations too with folks in the service industry especially, who thank me for my patience because they have been short staffed, and they are doing the work of several people. That compounded with more people being out and expecting pre-pandemic levels of service. As things begin to open up, my wish and hope is that people be kind to each other—as much as possible. We have to temper our expectations right now of what service means. Someone giving their best is generally offering good service, but if they are short staffed or just have more people than usual, it might not appear that way. Of course, this opens up other topics.

For example, there have also been people out saying that people don’t want to work, that they would rather stay home and collect an extra $300 dollars than work. I think it is unfortunate that we can live in a time where someone can stay home for an extra $300 and feel that they are better off than going into a job and others can be judgmental about that without knowing anything about that person’s life. Are they a caretaker? Has transportation services been cut in their area and it is difficult and costly to get to work? Was the environment that they were in toxic? Having worked in the service industry, I know these jobs are not easy—being on your feet all day, and suffering all kinds of behavior from coworkers and patrons alike. Some of these positions also do not pay a livable wage. Everything seems to be going up in price, and yet, we expect people to live on tips and below minimum wage. It is unconscionable. Not to mention if people have children and need child care which is often very expensive. I do believe that most people want to work, want to feel that life has some purpose, and that we are all contributing to society. That is a whole other conversation though. But I hope the pandemic made us really look at the things that are not working—and really think about ways in which we could make things better. One way in which things could be better, is if we all extend a little bit of kindness to our fellow human being. Bob Kerrey said, “Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.”

The events of the past year have deep implications on so many different levels, and I think it will take many years for a lot of people to heal from the mental strain, the grief, and just the ways in which our lives were turned upside down. This is different for everyone and will look different; some people did not experience the same depth of change, but we can all remember that we can’t look at someone and know what they have gone through. Did they lose someone or multiple loved ones? Did they lose a job? A business? Something that they had devoted resources and time to? Did they end a relationship? Did they hit rock bottom and feel devastated by that? Did their mental health suffer?

Recently, Naomi Osaka the tennis player announced that she would be focusing on her mental health. People lambasted her for wanting to tend to her sanity over “contractual agreements.” Nothing is more important than our health, and our mental health is included in that. I will always stand with anyone who says, I have to take care of my mind, my sanity, and my well-being.

Let us be kind to others now, and to ourselves. In extending kindness to ourselves, we can extend rest without guilt, we can take care of our physical, mental, and emotional well-being, and we can revel in the things and moments that bring us joy and peace. To our fellow human beings, we can extend some kindness—a thank you, a moment of patience, letting someone merge in front of us on the road, understanding that lines may be longer because more people are out and people are still finding their way back after a year that impacted the entire world. We can help out in our communities; we can reach out to someone to listen and lend an ear.

There are so many ways that we can be kind. I think it is more important than ever right now. Charles Glassman said, “Kindness begins with the understanding that we all struggle.” Albert Schweitzer said, “Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.” And because I love to quote Lao Tzu, he said, “kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” What a loving place this could be if everyone extended even an extra ounce of kindness? What can we do today, right now, where we are, with what we have to make this world a better place for everyone? This is the question for the week. But kindness is the answer. Scott Adams said, “Remember there is no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” I believe in this. I believe in kindness, and I believe in our ability—you and me—our ability to light a candle in the form of the human spirit, and to watch as that candle lights another and so forth.

None of us will forget the experience that we went through in the last year. This is something that impacted the world over, and we are still emerging from the collective dark night of the soul. I hope that as we have adjusted to a new way of living and being, that we have not forgotten what it means to be human, what it means to interact with others, what it means to live, love, and commune together. I am calling on you and on me to step up now, with an extra dose of kindness. To yourself and to others. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

If you are enjoying these posts and videos, please do like, subscribe, comment, and share. And may the stars shine brightly over your week, and may you both give and receive an extra dose of kindness this week.